Review: New South Presents Americana


New South Pro Wrestling presents Americana
Event Date: July 11, 2020
Event Air Date: July 17, 2020
Event Venue: Main Street, Ardmore, TN
Available on demand via IWTV.live

I couldn’t imagine a better time of year to drive along the border of Tennessee and Alabama than mid-July. Summer in the south is as oppressive as the south itself, but there’s something that agrees with the heat. It’s just better to take a road trip when it’s madly hot outside, and it’s a lot more fun somehow. That’s what I was in search of on this particular Saturday on the road from Little Rock to Ardmore. Well, that and I was also in search of weed and beer...as always.

Thankfully when you’re a wrestling fan (independent, in particular) you find like-minded kindred souls who share your love for the graps and the green. I’ve been fortunate enough to find these friends at independent shows around the country. To party with them is to step into the world of the divinely familiar. These are the people you’ve wanted to know your whole life as a wrestling fan. It’s actually crazy to think of it - we live in an age where everything has fallen to pieces and yet it’s something as unique as wrestling that brings us together. Maybe things aren’t so bad when you can chill and smoke with your friends in a backyard cookout before going to see a show in small town Tennebama...Alabassee...the border between two southern states. I needed that reassurance and that bond. Wrestling is magic sometimes.

I wondered how New South would present Americana as the world had changed since we’d all last seen one another at the HOSS Tournament back in March. The venue was indoors, which was different from the majority of the shows I’ve been to so far this summer. Masks would need to be worn, and it was nice to see fellow New South fans adhering to safety standards. Interestingly enough I found out this simple little Main Street venue in Ardmore was once an adult movie theater. This knowledge made for a lot of nicely timed one-liners within my crew throughout the show. It’s more than a little wild to look around you and see the building framework of what seriously once was a small theater. A lot of sweat went down in that location over the years.

Praise to the New South commentary team for Americana as well! IWTV VJ Mr. Brickster and Mose of SoBros Network do wonderful work together. I was happy to see Brickster again and talk to him prior to the show. He’s one of the most positive people you’ll find in wrestling today. I enjoyed going back and watching the show on IWTV this past week and seeing TJ Burks’ excellent camerawork as well. The guy really does make everything look like a movie and adds so much more to the show quality.

Match 1: Akuto Death Society (Chris Crunk, Shean Christopher and Kevin Ryan) vs Talladega Knights (Hunter Drake and Tyler Franks) and Kris McInnis

I wasn’t expecting this one to start the show, but I’m glad it did! I’ve got a lengthier review of this match on Pro Wrestling Post, but please know that you must see this match if you want to know what New South is about. If you’re new to ADS or Drake/Franks, check this match out. These are names you’ll be hearing about on the indie scene in 2021. ADS opened the show with their usual overconfidence, but this time it backfired on them. The show’s guest General Manager Big Spade granted the Knights a title shot in the opening trios bout. The Knights took that opportunity and turned it into a wild match that ended with their success as new tag team champions. Awesome start to the show!

Match 2: Dy-Lan vs. Derek Neal

Let me just say this: if you don’t love Dy-Lan, you simply don’t love life itself. How can anyone not root for this man when he’s got natural appeal (even more than 2 Fly Ty)? Still though, as much as I love and support Dy-Lan...I worried for his eternal soul when I found out who his opponent would be. The last we saw Derek Neal he was sporting an orange jacket as the 2020 HOSS Tournament winner. There’s no way he was going to show young Dy-Lan any mercy after coming off of that huge victory. Neal didn’t play around from the start either, he wanted to use this chance to send a message to Cabana Man Dan via dominating his opponent. I’m sure CMD got the message, but Dy-Lan didn’t go out without showing off at least a little finesse. He hit an impressive spinebuster on Neal but couldn’t capitalize before the King’s Road Slayer could rebound for the win...but at least we know what our boy Dy-Lan can do!

Match 3: Adam Priest vs. Steven Michaels

There was no doubt this one was going to be a banger. Both Priest and Michaels did amazing work earlier this year at the HOSS Tournament, and a few months of quarantine didn’t seem to slow their momentum at all. Priest showed up looking jacked and fantastic! The fight was on from the start in this match, and I could watch these two fight all day and never stop being entertained. I actually wouldn’t mind a Bloodsport match between these two if it’s in the possible future. We definitely need to see another match between these two; Priest narrowly escaped with the victory here over Michaels. I’m hoping this is a ‘fight forever’ situation where both men constantly one up each other with victories but it would take years to determine who the definitive better man would be.

Match 4: Brett Ison vs. Jaden Newman

If Priest vs. Michaels was a show-stealer then this one made it a point to be the show-stopper. The Crux Wrestling boys represented themselves well in the New South ring; both Ison and Newman put on a hell of a match in a hot-as-hell venue. This was my first time seeing Newman in the New South ring, and he showed out huge. I’d be happy watching these two fight in any promotion or venue whether it’s the Gypsy Joe Arena in Tullahoma or (hopefully someday) at the beloved Basement East in Nashville. By the time this match got going the Main Street venue was sweltering hot, so I give props to both Ison and Newman for going as hard as they did. Then again, these guys have trained at Crux in the summer so I’m sure they’re pretty hardened to stifling temperatures in the ring. Ison got the win here and Newman got the respect of the New South fans in attendance.

Match 5: Alice Crowley vs. Kenzie Page

Kenzie Page has been in AEW, but Alice Crowley has been everywhere this summer. I don’t think it will be long before we’re seeing Alice in more promotions around the country now that she’s wrestled in multiple southern and mid-south rings. This match had a lot of crowd support behind Alice despite Kenzie being the more recognized name. Very good athleticism was shown by both women here, and the match built to a nice dramatic finish that saw Crowley obtain the victory over Page much to the pleasure of all in attendance.

Match 6: Survival Gauntlet Match (Bailey Blake vs. I Am Sam vs. Rodney Rockchild vs. Erron Wade vs. Brandon Williams vs. Daniel Perez)

Hell yes, gauntlet matches! To me, this is the best way to introduce fresh talent. New South’s current roster has a lot of names that are still new to me, and the Survival Gauntlet match was my intro to some new faces (Bailey Blake, I Am Sam, and Erron Wade stood out here) while cheering on the ones I recognized like Daniel Perez, Rodney Rockchild, and Brandon Williams. The Survival Gauntlet was an enjoyable addition to an already solid card with Brandon Williams being the one to make it to the final round of the match and end up the winner. 

Match 7: Tyler Matrix vs. ‘Kung Fu’ Donnie Janela (Bloodsport Match)

This main event was great to see live and in person. It’s a daunting moment when you look at a wrestling ring with no ropes. You know from that moment it’s Bloodsport rules and the fight you’re about to see is straight shoot-style. Both Matrix and Donnie have earned their spot in this type of match, too - these guys are legit as they come and this main event proved it. After going all out against one another both men ended the match in a double knockout determined by the referee. 

Seeing their moment, the Akuto Death Society hit the ring to make a cowardly attack on an already-weakened Janela. After asking Matrix if he wanted entrance into their crew, Matrix declined with a one-finger salute and the ADS responded with a beat down on him as well. The show ended with Brett Ison returning to the ring to clear house and leave his own message to Chris Crunk and the ADS by laying out both Donnie and Matrix before leaving the ring.

Post-Show Thoughts

How great is it to have live New South shows back? That energy that I felt in March at the HOSS Tournament is still alive and well. I loved being at Americana and had a wonderful time reconnecting with friends; it’s great to see fans having a great time while respecting social distance and safety guidelines. New South has big plans in the weeks ahead as well, as of publishing time the promotion will be running their Top Shelf event (featuring EFFY, Priscilla Kelly, and a lot more great talent) this evening in Huntsville, AL and back in their home venue at the Sparkman Civic Center in Hartsell, AL on August 8th for their 5th year anniversary. Be sure to catch all of the Americana matches on IWTV and get in on New South; it’s one of the best southern promotions you’ll find!

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